This is me.
I’m vulnerable. I’m struggling. I’m suffering in my own personal grief. I am dismally flailing around trying to find a balance between life and work. I’m not succeeding. I have had a few days in the past week where there is no doubt in my mind that I was not coping. I was overwhelmed. I was beaten. I was crushed. And then I have days where I find the light and I find the joy and I find the laughter in the company of an old and beautiful friend. I am vulnerable. Not weak.
This is who I am. Right now.
For a very long time I tried to be whoever it was I *thought* I was supposed to be. I wore what I thought I should wear. I was a chameleon. I fit the part with whichever group of friends I was with. I worked as an actor. I pretended to be other people all the time and my professional life bled into my personal life. There was no difference. I was unconnected to myself, I was excluded, I was different and I didn’t fit anywhere because I was trying so hard to fit everywhere. I was terrified to be vulnerable. I was terrified to be different, so I tried to be the same.
But I wasn’t. The same. I wasn’t the same at all.
It took me a lot of pain and a lot of living to understand that being vulnerable, being honest, being true is never a bad thing. It took me a very long time to even begin to have the courage to be who I AM, not who other people think I should be. It is something that I still fight with every day. Fighting to ignore the part of me that tells me I’m not enough, I’m not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough. Fighting to allow myself to just exist. And to be brave enough to put myself out there to the world, without fearing judgement or hate or pain. Even though they will always come, there are always negative people and negative words. But you can choose to let the love and the light and the support shine through. You can choose.
I am vulnerable. I am in an extraordiarily vulnerable time in my life right now. I have opened myself and I have been hurt. Being vulnerable is not being weak. It is being strong. It is hard but it is also joyful. I am starting to let go of the pain and the saddness and the grief because it is no longer serving me well. I haven’t heard from my husband in almost a week and whilst that hurts, it hurts, I’m seeing through the lies and I’m finally accepting the truth. Slowly, but surely, I’m letting go.
I got an email from a reader of Inked a week ago, and this particular reader sent me the following video. A TED talk on the power of vulnerability. She thought that I would like it. She was absolutely right. It is a very powerful piece, it hit me right at my core. It reminded me why I write this blog, why I do what I do every day. It reminded me what I am fighting so hard for. It reminded me why I lay my heart on the line here and in my day-to-day life and it has re-ignited a passion in me to live my life whole-heartedly, to live with honesty and love and hope and light and joy. I urge you to watch it. To listen to it and to remember what makes you passionate. What gives you joy.
I hope it inspires you to love fearlessly, to give to the world even though sometimes the world knocks you down. It doesn’t matter what you wear or how much you weigh… It doesn’t matter. Because we only get this one life. We only get each of these days once. Be brave, be vulnerable, be honest. Always.
What makes you feel vulnerable?